The College calls on the new Labour government to make general practice a 'day one' priority

The RCGP urges the new government to use decisive election result to tackle crisis in primary care.

Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “As the new Labour government takes power, general practice will need to be an immediate, 'day one' priority for the new health secretary. We congratulate them on their victory, and hope that they will use this decisive election result to tackle the crisis facing primary care - we look forward to sharing our ideas with them. 

“General practice is the front door of the NHS, but it is in crisis. Hundreds of thousands of patients are struggling to get an appointment with their GP when they need it, and GPs are just as frustrated with the situation as our patients. 

“We simply don’t have enough GPs for the number of people who need our care. We are delivering millions more appointments than we were five years ago, with 480 fewer fully qualified, full time equivalent GPs. But we can’t keep doing more with less.  This has already led to dangerously high workloads, and now 76% of GPs say their workload is impacting patient safety.   

Our manifesto outlines seven solutions that we are calling for the new government to implement – including funding for recruitment and retention to boost and maintain GP numbers. To deliver the improvements and reforms in primary care the public needs, general practice requires a larger share of the NHS budget than it currently receives.  

“During the election campaign, Labour recognised the importance of general practice, and committed to shifting resources to primary and community care so that patients can get the care they really need, closer to home.  We need to see this implemented as a top priority.   

“General practice is struggling right now, but with the right action and investment we can turn things around, allowing GPs to deliver the holistic, continuous, high-quality care we are trained to provide. The College looks forward to working with the new government to make this a reality.”  

Further information

RCGP press office: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editors

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 54,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.